Women's Golf In The Palouse For Inaugural Pac-12 Championship
April 26, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - With several top-5 finishes and team and individual records under their belt this season, the Oregon State women's golf team looks to continue their strong play when they travel to the Palouse to compete in the inaugural Pac-12 Women's Golf Championship Friday through Sunday in Pullman, Wash.
The tournament is hosted by Washington State and will be played at the Palouse Ridge Golf Course, which is a par-72, 6,200-yard layout. The three-day, 54-hole tournament will include 18 holes each day with tee times at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 8 a.m. on Sunday off the first and 10th holes.
The 11-team field (Utah doesn't have a women's golf team) includes eight Top 25 teams in No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 USC, No. 4 Arizona State, No. 9 California, No. 11 Colorado, No. 14 Arizona, No. 20 Oregon and No. 22 Washington according to the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Oregon State is ranked No. 52 in the most recent rankings.
"Well, it is very apparent that our conference this year is very strong and competitive with four teams ranked in the Top 10 and eight in the Top 25," Oregon State assistant coach Kailin Downs said. "It's exciting that we can go out and compete against the best teams in the country. In realistic terms, we are just looking to go out there and play our game of golf and focus on what we need to focus on, which is hitting fairways, hitting the greens and scoring well. At the end of the day, if that means we finish in sixth and beat some teams or if we finish in eighth and beat some teams, we just need to be happy with that by focusing on ourselves.
"The team is very capable of putting themselves in position of finishing well in this tournament," Downs added. "I know that we have the ability to go out and beat a couple of teams. In reality, UCLA is UCLA and those teams constantly win and shoot under-par. I think seventh or eighth place is a very realistic goal for us and would be great if we can finish in that area."
THE FIELD: Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State.
"I think it is a definite advantage playing at the Palouse Ridge Golf Course for us and for a couple of the other teams who played there in the fall," Downs said. "I think it's going to play completely different this time of the year compared to the fall season. Still knowing the layout of the course and knowing what to prepare for is definitely an added benefit for our team. With the forecast of inclement weather, I think that is another added benefit for us, because we are used to playing in that kind of weather and some teams are not."
"During the two days of qualifying, Seshia and Lauren played reasonably well and showed the necessary effort we were looking for," Downs said. "They are striking the ball really well, which is exciting to see and both women put themselves in the position by working on their short game."
Both players had the experience in competing in last year's conference championship as sophomores and know what they have to do this year to improve.
"I definitely want to finish better than I did in last year's Pac-12's," Sewell said. "If I can go out there and play three solid rounds and finish in the top-20, that is the personal goal that I have set for myself this year. I feel pretty prepared going into this tournament and I have confidence in my long game."
"I feel that for both the team and myself, we all are all very comfortable and know this course very well," Telles said. "There are definitely holes that I know that I can score on, but there are also a couple of holes that I know I can't go for and I just have to accept it. Overall this season I know I struggled in the beginning of the spring term because I was not as confident in my golf game as much. Since then, I have made the needed improvements to work on my golf game both physically and mentally."
This will be Yoo's first appearance at the Pac-12 Championship, but the competition is something she has been experiencing all season. Yoo has consistently finished in the top three for the Beavers in all six tournaments this spring and looks to continue her hot play this weekend.
"I feel pretty confident going into this tournament and know that there is a lot of pressure riding on my shoulders," Yoo said. "After our spring season, I know both my teammates and coaches expect a lot from me, as well as my friends because I have played a lot of college golf now. I need to think about my own personal game, making sure I have a lot of confidence but at the same time try not to focus on what everyone else is doing around me."
For French, this will mark her fourth appearance in the conference championship and she will take experience and success to the course this weekend. In previous Pac-12 Championships, she finished in a tie for 36th as a freshman with an 18-over 231, led the Beavers with a 33rd place finish with a 19-over 235 as a sophomore and finished in a tie for 37th with a 17-over 233 last year.
"Our team has been playing well and my hopes are that we can go into this tournament having the confidence that we can finish well," French said. "Even though this is my last conference championship, I am excited to see what the team can do since we have had a good spring season. Individually, I don't think a number is something that I am looking to shoot; it's more of me playing my own game and focusing on what I need to do in order to play well."
LAST YEAR: The Beavers shot a 64-over 309-304-315--928 at the par-71, 6,121-yard ASU Karsten Golf Course to finish in ninth place in last year's Pac-10 Championship in Tempe, Ariz.
Telles paced the Beavers throughout the tournament and finished in a tie for 22nd with a 9-over 76-73-76--225. French had a 17-over 78-80-75--233 to tie for 37th, while Sewell finished in a tie for 42nd with a 19-over 75-76-84--235 and Fischer shot a 34-over 85-84-81--250 to finish in 49th place.
USC won the title with an even-par 282-291-291--864 to finish ahead of Arizona and UCLA. Tiffany Lua of UCLA and Sophia Popov tied for medalist honors with a 6-under 210.
LAST TIME OUT: Oregon State matched its second-best team round in school history, an even-par 288, on the final day of the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate to finish in 11th place at the two-day, 54-hole tournament in Half Moon Bay, Calif., with a 26-over 302-300-288--890 at the par-72, 6,034-yard Half Moon Bay Golf Links Ocean Course.
Telles and French each shot a 2-under 70 in the final round to finish in a tie for 22nd and tie for 45th, respectively, with a 3-over 219 and 8-over 224. Yoo finished in a tie for 40th with a 7-over 223 and Sewell tied French with an 8-over 224.
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